In a landmark event in the COVID pandemic, last week the U.S. Food & Drug Administration granted full approval to the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech. Pfizer’s was the first COVID vaccine to receive full approval by the FDA.
The FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine takes away a potential defense employees might raise to a vaccine mandate, that the vaccine had only emergency use authorization, and that under the law people had to be told they had the choice to receive it or not. That defense had not succeeded yet, and cannot now succeed against an employer mandate of the Pfizer vaccine.
The FDA had granted Pfizer an emergency use authorization for its vaccine in December of 2020, and Pfizer had applied for full approval on May 7th, according to the Washington Post. In June, Moderna applied for full authorization of its vaccine, but approval has not yet been granted.
Since the full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, many employers and governmental units have instituted vaccine mandates. In Texas, employers can mandate the Pfizer vaccine but will still need to comply with Texas employment law to do so.